International Olympic Committee

This article talks about the International Olympic Committee, its origin, objectives, structure and activities.

Origin of IOC

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is a non-governmental international organisation which came into existence in 1894.

Objectives of IOC

The IOC has the aim of ensuring the regular holding of the Olympic Games and fostering Olympism and the Olympic movement. Olympism, is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining, in a balanced whole, the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles. The goal of the Olympic movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair-play.

Structure of IOC

The IOC is a permanent organisation that elects its own members. Each member must speak French or English and be a citizen of or reside in a country that has a National Olympic Committee. With a very few exceptions, there is only one member from any one country. Members were originally elected for life, but those elected after 1965 must retire at 75. The IOC is the final authority on all questions concerning the Olympic games and the Olympic movement. It was for the first time that 204 National Olympic Committees represent their countries at the 2012 London Olympic Games. The Executive Board which meets four-five times a year to manage the IOC’s affairs has a President elected for an eight-year term and four Vice-Presidents who are elected for a four-year term. There are usually six members on the Executive Board. These members are elected for a four-year term. The administration is carried under the authority of a Director-General and a Secretary-General. The Olympic Charter is the codification of the fundamental principles, rules and bye-laws adopted by the IOC. It governs the organisation and operation of the Olympic movement and stipulates the conditions for the celebration of the Olympic Games.

Activities of IOC

Under the supreme authority of the IOC, the Olympic movement encompasses organisations, athletes and other persons who agree to be guided by the Olympic Charter. The criterion for belonging to the Olympic movement is recognition by the IOC. The activity of the Olympic movement is permanent and universal. It reaches its peak with the bringing together of the athletes of the world at the great sport festival, the Olympic Games. The Olympic Summer Games take place during the first year of the Olympiad (period of four years) which they are to celebrate. They are the exclusive property of the IOC, which entrusts their organisation to a host city seven years in advance. The programme of the Games must include at least 15 of the total number of Olympic sports (sports governed by recognized International Federations and admitted to the Olympic programme by decision of the IOC at least seven year before the Games).

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